2017 Excellence in Volunteer Leadership Award

2017 Excellence in Volunteer Leadership Award


Thank you for your interest in applying for the

DOVIA-LA Excellence in Volunteer Leadership Award.


DOVIA-LA prides itself on providing quality professional development opportunities for volunteer managers throughout Los Angeles County. This award is designed to showcase one organization’s volunteer program that excels at all levels; those that leverage organizational support, push boundaries, do great work, and create broad impact.



The organization selected for this award will be honored at the DOVIA-LA Annual Education Day on August 25, 2017 with an award and $250 towards their volunteer program.  This organization will also be featured on the DOVIA-LA website and through other social media outlets.



Eligible applicants must be organizations with DOVIA-LA membership in good standing.



A complete application includes two components:

  1.      A brief narrative application, which includes answering the following questions:
  •        Please provide an overview of this organization’s volunteer program (e.g., number of years the volunteer program has been established, staff responsible for volunteer services department, number of volunteers, number of service hours provided within the last year, types of volunteer programs offered, constituency the volunteers serve).
  •        Why is this organization’s volunteer program an example of excellence in volunteer leadership? What impact has been made to this organization or the community it serves as a result of this program?
  •        Describe how this organization’s leadership (e.g., board of directors, CEO or Executive Director, Department Heads) have supported or enhanced the volunteer program’s ability in meeting the mission and vision of this agency.
  • Identify one priority initiative involving volunteers this organization implemented within the last year. Describe that initiative and tell us how the organization’s leadership played a key role in development and/or implementation of this initiative


  1.          A letter of support from a senior staff member or CEO of the organization.



Please submit both the question responses and the letter of support by email to doviala@gmail.com.  The deadline to submit both components of the application is August 11th, 2017. The DOVIA-LA Board of Directors will review all applications and select award recipient. Applicants will be notified the following week.



For any questions or concerns regarding scholarship requirements or deadlines, please contact Shade Mokuolu, DOVIA-LA Vice President at smokuolu@newhorizons-sfv.org

July 2017 Highlight – Sarah L. Kuljian!


Sarah Kuljian_VAA Headshot


Q&A with Sarah L. Kuljian

Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteer Action for Aging

Where are you currently working and how long have you been managing volunteers?

I am currently working with Volunteer Action for Aging (VAA), a program within Independence at Home, a SCAN community service. I have been working for the company for 4 ½ years, but managing volunteers for 3 ½ years as a Volunteer Coordinator. VAA serves older adults in multiple counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura. I am responsible for events in the LA County area. VAA offers social engagement opportunities for older adults, including community events such as art and technology classes, as well as a friendly visitor program. Volunteers are an integral part of making our program a success.

How were you introduced to DOVIA-LA and what do you enjoy about the group?

My colleague Teri Hershberg, a current DOVIA-LA board member, and former manager Colette Encalada, introduced me to DOVIA-LA. I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet many members who are professionals working in the field of volunteer management. DOVIA-LA is a great resource for networking and exchanging ideas on best practices in volunteer management. The group encompasses individuals working on a variety of important issues in our community. I am grateful for their breadth of knowledge and experience along with their openness to share what they’ve learned along the way.

Do you have any tips for volunteer managers?

Keep an open mind – try new things and be willing to succeed – but also be receptive to change. I believe that it is essential to gain an understanding of the needs of your program and your volunteers and how they work together.

Do you have any hobbies that help you maintain work/life balance?

I metal smith,fabricating jewelry using silver, bronze, copper and various gemstones. Making jewelry has been a love of mine for almost 30 years and it is my home away from home.


Sue Lee

Q&A with Sue Lee

Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator, Five Acres


Where are you currently working and how long have you been managing volunteers?

I am currently working at Five Acres Boys and Girls Aid Society in Altadena, CA. I have been managing volunteers since January of this year!

How were you introduced to DOVIA-LA and what do you enjoy about the group?

I was introduced to DOVIA-LA through the previous Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator and our CAO, Jennifer Berger. Jennifer really encouraged me to join.

Do you have any tips for volunteer managers?

I think what really works for me is engaging with my volunteers on a personal level rather than just seeing them as someone who will be doing a job.

Do you have any hobbies that help you maintain work/life balance?

I love to hike and fortunately we have a trail right by us that we can walk to after work. I have gathered a few colleagues to go hiking once a week and also a group to jog/walk at the Rose Bowl. Getting outdoors really helps me keep the work/life balance while also connecting with my coworkers.

Click here to learn more about Five Acres.

5 Tips to Build Volunteer Loyalty

5 Tips to Build Volunteer Loyalty

Just because you successfully attract volunteers to your organization doesn’t mean you’ll keep them. Here are five effective tips to maintain great relationships with your volunteers by building loyalty. Read the whole article on VolunteerMatch HERE.

Volunteer Management Progress Report Survey

Volunteer Management Progress Report Survey

Add Your Voice to the 2016 Volunteer Management Progress Survey & Report

If you manage volunteers or lead a volunteer program or organization (as a volunteer or paid staff), don’t miss your chance to take the Volunteer Management Progress Survey and be the first to learn the results.

This “state of the industry” survey includes questions related to volunteer management practices, challenges, and needs. Researchers hope to paint a more complete picture of today’s volunteer management pros while taking into account their organizational characteristics, resources, locations, etc.

Curious about how your volunteer engagement practices compare with other professionals like you?
Wondering how you salary compares with your peers at similar organizations?
Interested in what the average ratio of volunteers to volunteer managers is for nonprofits of various sizes?
Wonder what the biggest pinch points are for the field of volunteerism?

Answers to questions like these and more will be reported in the 2016 Volunteer Management Progress Report. Everyone who completes the survey will get an invite to a free webinar presented by the researchers in January.

To take the survey, click the link below:

The deadline to complete the survey is December 15, 2015
and the survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

DOVIA-LA 2015 Member Highlight

DOVIA-LA 2015 Member Highlight
Q & A with Gwen Hourihan; Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Programs
 Union Station Homeless Services

Gwen photo

Q: Where are you currently working and how long have you been managing volunteers?

A: I am the Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Community Programs at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena.  I celebrated my one year anniversary in March 2015 but started as a temp over a year and a half ago.  Prior to USHS I managed volunteers under my title as event manager for over ten years.  My main responsibilities include helping manage volunteer placement, supervision and communication with approximately 3,000 volunteers, including over 200 regular volunteers and over 60 regular groups in our seven facilities.

Q: How were you introduced to DOVIA-LA and what do you enjoy about the group?

A: I was introduced to DOVIA by my supervisor at Union Station.  I was thrilled that such a resource exists.  DOVIA provided me the opportunity to meet and discuss volunteer administration with other professionals in the field.

Q: What’s a memorable volunteer story?

A: One of the many memorable stories is of a woman who works in our Adult Center emergency shelter helping the Security Team at the front desk.   She let us know that her first day was so emotional she cried because of the many struggling community members she saw that day.  She reached out to us, we discussed her understanding of the position, and she is now volunteering three days a week at that facility!  It was very touching that she was so moved by the people we serve and the care that our staff shows the community members in need.

Q: You are in the process of receiving your CVA, how has it been going?

A: The CCVA is fantastic at communicating information on the CVA process.  I really appreciate their dedication to advancing the position of volunteer administrator and am excited to take the test and complete the practical application process.  I appreciate the opportunity to further my knowledge and education in this area.

Q: Do you have any tips for volunteer managers??

A: We believe in quick responses to all inquiries in our department and I see its value as a sign of respect while putting our best selves forward.  I also hold two aspects of my job as crucial: safety and ethics.  Maintaining a positive attitude/positive department helps our organization’s reputation as one that values people who take time out of their lives to help us.

Q:  Do you have any hobbies that help you maintain work/life balance?
A: My number one hobby is spending time with family and friends.  That time includes walking our dogs, going to the theater and movies, and gardening.  Gardening I usually end up doing alone which is just fine as I also enjoy my “solo down time.”